Hair Loss Reasons, Main Reasons for Hair Loss in Men

Hair loss reasons in men are 95% of the time due to androgenetic alopecia or male pattern hair loss. However, there can several other reasons for hair loss which affect both men and women.

Alopecia Areata

This is an auto-immune system disorder which causes hair follicles to stop producing hairs. Sudden loss of hair from small patches on the head are a common symptom, resulting in the appearance of roughly circular bald patches on the scalp. The skin in the affected area is smooth and soft and has no hair at all. Research shows that the hair follicles in the anagen (growing) phase become a target for attack by auto-immune cells. Hair loss is sudden, sometimes even overnight.

Alopecia areata may be no more than a few bald patches that appear and then regrow hair. If the patches are small, the chances of regrowth are very good.
Diffuse alopecia areata is where there is sudden thinning without the bald patches, but this is a far less common hair loss reason for hair loss.
Triangular alopecia occurs in a triangular pattern in the temporal area.

Traction Alopecia or Traumatic Alopecia

This is the loss of hair from constant hair pulling. This reason for hair loss results from hairdressing techniques that pull the hair (tight braiding or corn-rowing), expose hair to extreme heat and twisting (curling iron or hot rollers), or damage the hair with strong chemicals (bleaching, hair coloring, permanent waves).

Related hair loss reasons for hair loss include hair shaft breakage. This is when part of a hair breaks off, but the growing end remains in the follicle and continues to grow. Hair shaft breakage can result in thinner hair, and can be caused by excessive styling, chemicals, sun, and chlorine in swimming pools. Blow-drying is not one of the main hair loss reasons. But it can dry, burn, and damage hair that may then fall out, to be replaced by new hair that will sprout from the follicle during the anagen growth phase.

Delayed Hair Loss from Stress: Telogen Effluvium

This is a slowing of new hair growth followed by a delayed diffuse hair loss that happens 2 to 3 months after a major and/or sudden severe stress, such as a prolonged high fever, major surgery, or serious infection. These stress related hair loss reasons induce a high proportion of follicles to enter the resting telogen phase, and a few months after the stressful event, all of the resting follicles begin to shed hairs at the same time.

Sudden Hair Loss: Anagen Effluvium

This is the sudden loss of growing (anagen) hairs as a result of chemicals or radiation, also referred to as toxic alopecia. Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy halt the growth phase of hair follicles and result in the sudden shedding of hair. Side effects of some medications can also result in hair loss; such as lithium, beta blockers, warfarin and heparin, amphetamines, levodopa and other drugs.

Symptom of a Medical Illness

Hair loss reasons can also be attributed to the symptoms of a medical illness. Illnesses where hair loss occurs include lupus erythematosus, syphilis, thyroid disorder (both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism) sex hormone imbalance, sarcoidosis and cancer spread to the skin.

Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp. This results in a form of patchy hair loss when the scalp is infected by the fungus trichophyton tonsurans, causing the hair to break off right at the scalp surface and the causes the scalp to flake or become scaly. Toxic alopecia may also occur with low thyroid and/or pituitary gland function.

Other Hair Loss Reasons

Nutritional deficiencies are rarely major hair loss reasons. However, certain nutritional deficiencies, especially a deficiency of protein, iron, zinc, or biotin, can cause weak hair shafts that tend to break off. Hormone-related irregularities can include hair loss among other symptoms.

Skin infections can result in hair loss. Trauma such as burns and injury to hair follicles, can cause permanent hair loss. Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia can occur following tissue destruction and inflammation.

Wearing a hat does not contribute to hair loss. As long as you don’t regularly wear a hat that’s so tight that it restricts blood flow to the hair follicles, this will not fall into the category of hair loss reasons. But it can cause problems for hair because of the effects of sweat, dirt, and skin particles that clog pores

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